Helen Fallding, Corey Petsnik, CHRR founder Karen Busby, Sue Ahn, Denise McInnes, Menal Al Fekih, Victoria Davies

Address: Room 442, Robson Hall, 224 Dysart Rd., University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2. Fax: 204-474-7580

Centre director

Dr. Adele Perry is a distinguished professor of history and women’s and gender studies. She is a historian of colonialism and imperialism, transnationalism, gender, sexuality, racism and western Canada in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Perry has published On the Edge of Empire: Gender, Race, and the Making of British Columbia, 1849-1871, Colonial Relations: The Douglas-Connolly Family and the Nineteenth-Century Imperial World and Aqueduct: Colonialism, Resources and the Histories We Remember. She co-edited People’s Citizenship Guide and four volumes of Rethinking Canada: The Promise of Women’s History. Applying a historical perspective to contemporary human rights issues, Perry has challenged racism in health-care delivery and in her own profession, along with barriers to library access for people who are homeless. From 2003 to 2014, Perry held a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair and she is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and past president of the Canadian Historical Association.

She can be reached at 204-474-8107, 440 Robson Hall.


Helen Fallding helped bring Canada’s first interdisciplinary Master of Human Rights degree program and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to the University of Manitoba. A lifelong human rights activist, she has run women’s centres, helped the Carcross-Tagish First Nation negotiate a land claim, co-founded Yukon’s first gay organization and supported refugees.

Fallding graduated with gold medals from the University of Guelph (honours B.Sc. in biology) and the University of Western Ontario (MA in journalism).

Her first job as a reporter was with Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon — the Beat of a Different Drummer. She worked for the Winnipeg Free Press for 13 years, including as legislature bureau chief, science reporter and assistant city editor.

Fallding has won awards for feminist activism and for journalism, including for a series of stories about lack of running water on Manitoba First Nations.

She can be reached at 204-474-6156, 442 Robson Hall.

Office assistant

Denise McInnes helped set up the Manitoba Institute for Materials before joining the Centre for Human Rights Research in 2016 in a part-time position. She previously worked as an office assistant for the chemistry department for 9 years and for Standard Aero for 11 years as a customer service specialist and export compliance officer. Denise is a certified geological technician, an active grandmother and community volunteer. Her usual office hours are Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday mornings.

Denise can be reached at 204-474-6453, 438 Robson Hall.

Speakers bureau

Human rights speakers bureau co-ordinator Victoria Davies is a law student at the University of Manitoba. She completed an honours BA in sociology and religious studies before attending law school. Davies facilitates biweekly workshops at Elmwood High School with a group of Grade 8 girls on topics such as female empowerment and self-esteem. She also volunteers at William Whyte School with the Indigenous Youth Outreach Program to teach young people about criminal law and help them conduct a mock trial at their school. Davies has also been a research assistant for Prof. Busby’s projects on campus sexual violence and surrogacy.

Student assistants

Yusuf Abdulkareem is a master of human rights student assisting the Centre for Human Rights Research with research that will inform the work of the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This research, related to the Expert Mechanism’s studies on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, is guided by consultant Celeste McKay and Dr. Wilton Littlechild. Abdulkareem was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2014 then worked in one of Nigeria’s foremost non-profit organizations before moving to Chicago for his LLM in international law. His research interests include abolishing the death penalty, human trafficking and international criminal justice. He worked at the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York and volunteered at the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic in Chicago.


Qudus Abusaleh is in his final year of a BA in political studies, with a minor in sociology. On campus, he has served on the executive at the University of Manitoba Muslim Students’ Association and the Arab Students’ Association, as well as working as a news reporter for the Manitoban. He is a founding member and external vice-chair of Sawa Theatre, a free arts program for newcomer Syrian youth and the president of Unpack Your Potential, a summer leadership camp for Manitoba Muslim youth. Abusaleh is the deputy chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students – Manitoba,  and was recently elected as the incoming chairperson for the 2021/2022 academic year. He is writing event summaries for CHRR and assisting the director with research projects.


Betel Belachew is in the final year of her BA in sociology, with a minor in women’s and gender studies. She co-founded the grassroots organization Justice 4 Black Lives Winnipeg and was an active member in the UMSU Ethiopian-Eritrean Students Association and Spanish Club. Belachew has also volunteered in Indonesia for school construction and teaching. She is passionate about immigration issues, as she experienced Canada as a newcomer with her parents. Belachew is CHRR director Dr. Adele Perry’s part-time research assistant for 2020-2021.


Binesi Boulanger

Binesi Boulanger is a member of Berens River First Nation and a part-time law student at Robson Hall at the University of Manitoba. She is also completing a bachelor of Indigenous social work at Laurentian University. Binesi will assist law Prof. Brenda Gunn with research related to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


Laura Funk

Laura E. Funk is a master’s student in sociology and criminology at the University of Manitoba. She is working with Dr. Fabiana Li on a project examining the concept of victory gardens in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her master’s research examines the politics of managing land registries in the Canadian prairies with a focus on the public’s level of access to data amid the growing commercialization of land registries. In addition, Laura is interested in research on food security, food policy and social justice.


Sarah Hourie is a Métis master’s student in Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. Her interests include identity politics, intersectionality and the microaggressions Indigenous women experience while navigating colonial spaces. Sarah intends to examine the implications of state-administered policies on the everyday lives of Indigenous women in both urban and rural communities. She is helping law Prof. Brenda Gunn organize a UN expert seminar on self-determination for Indigenous peoples.


Amy Jackson is from Opaskwayak Cree Nation and is a master’s student in Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. Her background is in history, social science and Aboriginal and Northern Studies. Amy’s interests include prairie Indigenous history and storywork. For her master’s thesis, she will study the legacy of the File Hills Colony in Saskatchewan, led by the surviving family members of colonists. Amy is working with CHRR on issues related to anti-Indigenous racism.


Corey Petsnik is a PhD student in social psychology at the University of Manitoba. He maintains the Centre for Human Rights Research Twitter feed and Facebook page and assists with the centre’s website. His master’s research evaluated how witnessing ostracism affects observers’ views of human nature and their antisocial inclinations.